Aggregation Aggravation

January 11, 2012 § Leave a comment

Many of you may have heard of the brewing brouhaha over the growth of aggregators marketing storage units for operators, such as Spare Foot and others. Sort of like Expedia is to the airline business.

For many, aggregators are a necessary evil to help move excess space; to others, they are an unnecessary expense that reduces an operators bottom line. Better that you should market your units yourself, than use a third party to do it.

If you remember, companies like Expedia became possible when the airlines eliminated travel agency fees. Consumers were forced to shop many airlines sites individually. Time consuming. Inconvenient. Kayak and others filled a necessary void.

Is this true of self storage? Who knows? I offer no opinion. Each operator needs to figure out the value of aggregators on their own. However, as the aggregators grow they may become increasingly necessary to a successful marketing effort.

To my mind, a more harmful trend is discounting. Discounts offer no value and they go right to the bottom line. In the near future, I will be discussing ways to attract and keep customers without discounting.

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